Visiting the Glyptotek Museum in Copenhagen – Travel Photo Mondays
Such an unusual name that represents one of Copenhagen’s finest museums, the Glyptotek Museum sits in regal splendor just on the edge of the famous Tivoli Gardens and the main train station. Created by its founder, Carl Jacobson from Carlsberg beer, he donated his personal art collection to the Danish government. Inspired by the original Glyptotek in Munich, Jacobson, wanted to create his version of the Greek Glypto or ‘sculpture’ temple in central Copenhagen. Carlsberg envisioned a grand museum to be built in central Copenhagen to house his extensive collection of the world’s largest ancient art in Northern Europe. The extensive collection consists of mostly ancient artifacts, pottery, sculpture and fine paintings of Greek, Etruscan, Egyptian and Roman pieces. There is also a wonderful selection of European painters, French Impressionist and Post Impressionist paintings along with a gallery of paintings from Denmark’s golden age of art. some .
The museum is a real jewel to visit even if you are not a regular museum admirer because of the magnificent architecture, scenic views from the roof and stunning interior spaces. The artwork are presented in beautiful rooms that give you an idea of the environment where the artwork was found. Some rooms present the excavations with nice graphics and photography to show the excavations, while the smaller galleries are intimate and feel like you were in a private home. If you love to visit unique museums of the world, then the Glyptotek museum is a special place for fine art, sculpture and antiquities.
It all starts with the grand entrance into a large conservatory space. You enter the winter garden with its soaring glass cupola filling the grand space with airy light. The garden is overflowing with mature tropical plants and flowers in a thriving jungle environment. The unexpected jungle and beautiful sculpture draw you in quickly into this tropical zone to explore and experience the stunning interiors in detail. Immediately, your eyes are drawn to the middle of the garden where this surreal marble sculpture sits with its stylized mother and 14 children climbing all around her. She is called the Water Mother, created by sculptor Kai Neilson in 1921 (who also created the LIttle Mermaid in Copenhagen). The Water Mother is supposed to represent fertility with Venus on her arm as one of the children.
Many of the Glyptotek’s exhibits are set into distinct and well laid out galleries. Some of the galleries are quite grand and include many of the museum’s beautiful sculpture. From the Winter Garden you enter the next room, which is spectacular – it is the central hall below fashioned as a Roman villa with a large open air courtyard. Surrounding the make believe courtyard are columned promenades filled with beautiful sculpture from various Roman timeframes – the shocking red painted walls livens up the room and accents the artwork so perfectly. On the main floor are Greek, Roman and Etruscan finds of sculpture, reliefs, pottery and other ancient artifacts assembled into galleries that are easy to walk through with signage in Danish and English. There is also an extensive Egyptian collection representing works from Ancient Egypt, through the Middle Kingdom into early Roman timeframes. Many of these collections were acquired through the many sponsored excavations that Jacobson supported in excavating many of the archeological digs throughout Egypt in the early 20th century.
Mosaic floors in the Roman and Mesopotamia rooms
Impressionism and Post Impressionism paintings
In the newer wing of the museum are housed most of the European paintings including the French masterpieces. This includes works by famous Impressionist artists including Monet, Degas, Cezanne, and Post Impressionist artists like Bonnard, Lautrec and Van Gogh. There is also a beautiful collection of Rodin and Degas bronze sculpture in the new wing and outside in the garden with Rodin’s Thinker. The gallery spaces in the new wing are grand you initially climb the grand staircase filled with light. But inside the rooms, it is very dark and intimate with small gallery spaces focused on the European collections which is small but a good size for just one person’s collection.
A Van Gogh landscape at the Glyptotek
In the rear of the Glyptotek is a formal garden with beautiful statuary and tulips blooming in the garden beds. In the center of the garden is Rodin’s Thinker on a pedestal surrounding with colorful annuals. Jacobson collected many of Rodin’s pieces and accumulated over 43 sculptures into his personal collection.
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